Written on behalf of the Association for Research in Personality. Document available here: NSF Grand Challenge.
Abstract. Individuals respond differently to social situations, economic circumstances, and physical environments, with important consequences for physical and mental health, occupational attainment, economic well‐being, community involvement, and mortality itself. The key questions in the psychological study of personality and individual differences are: What are the primary dimensions of personality and ability how can they best be measured? What are the origins of these individual differences? What are the psychological processes that underlie individual differences in personality? To what degree and in what ways is personality stable, variable, and changeable across the lifespan? What are the behavioral implications of personality and how do these implications vary with situational circumstances? What are the long‐term implications of personality for important life outcomes and how do these implications vary according to the nature of physical, social and cultural environment? Personality psychology is a “hub” discipline that stands at the crossroads of social psychology and economics, and also cognitive science, developmental psychology, health psychology, and biology. The key questions of personality psychology thus are both foundational and potentially transformative of broad areas of social science.